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Montana scouting organizations react to Boy Scouts of America name change

The Boy Scouts of America will now go by 'Scouting America'
BSA Missoula
Posted at 8:00 AM, May 12, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-12 10:00:01-04

MISSOULA — Boy Scouts of America recently changed their name to Scouting America and there has been a lot of nationwide attention.

Scout Master for Bitterroot Troop 1962 Garrett Middleton told MTN, "It's a brand change. You know, times are changing whether you like it or not."

The 114-year-old organization has been shifting towards inclusivity for years now and this name change reflects that. Another step came in 2019 when the organization shifted to allow girls into their troops and programs.

"It really represents that we accept everyone." Missoula District Executive Grace Friend explained. “We want everyone to have the opportunity to go through our programs, have the fun leadership, character building, all of the things that we offer.”

Being different than the Girl Scouts, Scouting America has different programs, a lot of which focus on outdoor and survival skills.

"Here in Scouting America we focus on building leaders and want youth to be prepared for life," Friend explained. "The name hasn't changed anything; our programs remain the same. We still have Cub Scouts, we still have troops, we still have our older youth programs. We just changed our name to fit more of who our participants are."

Middleton added, "We go camping six to eight times a year, we go on lots of hikes, canoeing kayaking, community service. We really put the leadership in their hands.”

When the new name is officially adopted in 2025, the north star of the organization will stay the same.

"We're going to keep teaching these leadership skills, public speaking skills, life skills throughout our troop. And that’s the ultimate goal, just make youth better,” shared Middleton.

To find your troop click here.